Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Value of Architecture is the Architect - No wait!

On my Facebook feed, instagram and twitter, I read the unfortunate news that the Hall of Nations has been brought down.

It is no difficult argument that it should not have been, or that there are far ugliers, more ungainly and completely un-celebrate-able buildings in Pragati Maidan (the Irony of the name does not pass me at the moment!) that should have met this fate long before Hall of Nations perished to it.

So the question comes to mind -How? Or why?

As a young upstart of a practice, and a young architect trying to make headway into the world of design it is formidable kind of future to ponder.

But I think the answer lies probably, not in architecture or its value or how its value is perceived, but in the nature of discourse on architecture in the country. Which even now is yet to come of any kind of age.

I happened to attend an event at IHC discussing the proposal of National Museum of Architecture, a small group of architects and people from allied disciplines.

Before long the discussion wound its way from architecture to architects, and the value of keeping a repository of works of the who’s who.

And it suddenly became quite apparent how little discourse there was, and if there was any it was more like Name-Dropping.

The discourse on Architecture is not the Discussion of Architects. And the Value of Architecture is not in the name of the Authorship.  They are separate. The Architect may be important by a symbiotic relationship to the Value of the Architecture, the reverse is painfully untrue.

But in that small realization I believe the discourse of architecture may be carried out in earnest. The value of architecture is not the name of the Architect who designed it. Its value is (and should always be) quite clearly distinct.

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